Quite a while ago, we featured a 102 year old lens that was mounted to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (two posts: stills post and video from the same lens) – and today, here’s an even older one – 110 years old! This was sent in by Ignacio Sanchez who has started a group for Vintage Lenses on Vimeo. He’s shared a video and a couple of stills on his blog
Zeiss Tessar, 1902 in a 5DmkII
Here’s a snip from Ignacio’s article (translated via Google)
Two months ago I was in “El Rastro”, the flea market here in Madrid, when I found a brass lens barrel, I looked inside and saw a little lens, a Zeiss Jena Tessar 7,5cm f/6.3. The seller asked 5 euros for it, I grab it and pay him with a smile in my face.
When I got home, I realized that the lens barrel, that has the name Dubroni, belongs to a 1874 camera with the same name. It was a auto developing camera, an early Polaroid concept (link), but the original lens was a petzval design, not Tessar. I supposed that the owner has hacked the barrel to suit the Tessar inside.
I googled about this Tessar lens, and I only found a reference from 1902, a Tessar first dessign. Then I began to study how can I transform this two pieces to adapt them to my EOS system.The focal length 7,5cm (75mm) was perfect for FF or APS-C, my principal concern was if it could reach infinity and after a quick test I confirmed that it has enough flange to mount it in my 5DmkII, great. My initial concept was to mount it in a bellows, but there it was far away to reach infinity, then I began to wonder to mount the lens inside the barrel, and weld an eos-m42 adapter to rear side of the barrel. I calculated the distance and everything seems to fit.
I took the barrel to my friend Jose, a good metal carpenter, who could weld the adapter to the barrel. My project was at last finished, the focus hand wheel worked fine, and the image was sharp enough, with a very low contrast, I though that maybe fungus or haze was the cause, but fortunately there was not.
via ASPECTO visuals.
110 years old lens in 5DmkII – Tessar 1º design
Here’s another vintage lens video from Ignacio:
I adapted for Canon EOS this lens from a camera called “Toledo”, I bought in “El Rastro” weeks ago. It´s a meniscus lens, one element, circa 1920 with the usual soft focus. I put in a M42 helicoidal to get proper focus.
As you can see there is no detail at all, and a lot of aberrations, but it has a look.
The footage is straight from camera. No CC.
I found a few photos in Ignacio’s flickr stream showing the cameras:
(cover photo credit: snap from the vimeo group title image)